Do we need to improve our local parks?

Concerns were raised at a meeting in May 2013 about the attention given to the upkeep of  local parks in Swansea and it was suggested at the time that more work may need to be carried out. As a result, a working group was set up, to look at the parks service in Swansea, how these are being maintained and whether there is any room for improvement.

photo

Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea

Some of the lead officers responsible for the parks upkeep attended the meeting to answer a number of questions, such as:

  •  Are parks in the local community being well maintained? Is enough attention given to their upkeep?
  • Are local parks safe and free from vandalism and anti-social behaviour?
  • What are local parks being used for? (Current Performance & Trends?)
  • What has been the Green Flag success?
  • What are the financial implications of maintaining local parks?
  • What are the future challenges and opportunities?

The group heard many interesting facts about the parks service and the work being carried out to maintain them as areas of enjoyment and relaxation. They also learned about the types of parks, such as city parks (Singleton Park), Country Parks (Clyne Gardens) and Specialist Parks (Botanic Gardens, Clyne Gardens, Plantasia, Ornamental Gardens, Brynmill Park and Cwmdonkin Park) and what each of these has to offer.

It was also noted that the Parks Service is responsible for maintaining much  more than our local parks. Other areas maintained by the Parks Service include: soccer and rugby pitches (in parks and schools), bowls greens, cricket squares, playgrounds, cemeteries and allotments.   The service is committed to supporting the development of the Authority’s sporting, tourism and horticultural excellence, through green spaces that compliment and enhance the City and County’s outstanding natural beauty.

The responses to these questions, as well as other information received at the meeting, will be passed on in a letter to the Cabinet member, along with any conclusions and recommendations, although it was generally agreed by all that the standard of work carried out by the Parks Service is high and because of this the residents of Swansea have a choice of a great range of parks and services to enjoy.

If you feel you have something to add to this topic, please contact the team on scrutiny@swansea.gov.uk.

Photo credit link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swansealocalboy/6378211245/

Comments

  1. As with most other facilities, I believe Swansea East parks have been ignored: 5 ~Swansea parks have the green flag status, all of them in Swansea West. Facilities lag behind in Swansea East parks – perhaps they should become a priority for any resources that will still be available in the next few years!

    • Juliet Rees says:

      Thank you for your response Councillor Clay. I will pass your comments on to the appropriate persons for consideration.

  2. Peter Davies says:

    Speaking as a resident in what I presume comes under Swansea West, can I point out that Councillor Clay’s comments are far too ‘broad brush’, because people who use and depend on local parks in Swansea West feel exactly the same about our local amenities. We have been just informed that our local parks can have no investment (and have not done for many years) and in fact will not even have enough funding to have the grass cut regularly!
    So to refine the discussion perhaps it should be not East v West but query the allocation of funding between ‘showpiece’ and local parks or even between PArk funding generally and other areas!

  3. Thanks for your comment on this.

    Since the meeting the working group has written to the relevant Cabinet Member and received a reply. You can find both letters in the agenda papers for the March meeting of the Scrutiny Programme Committee here: http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=57825 (page 25)

    I’m sure that is an issue that the Committee will want to keep an eye on and hearing public views will be an important part of this.

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